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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Fact Sheets


How do I apply for certification?

To apply for state certification, federal certification, or both, use our online application system.

Does my certification have to be renewed?

State Certification:
If your firm is state certified, you are required to go through a recertification process every three years. OMWBE will email you a renewal notice prior to your renewal date. There is a non-refundable fee based on the business structure of the firm:

Sole Proprietorship: $50
Partnership: $75
Limited Liability Corporation (LLC): $100
Corporation: $100

Federal Certification (DBE and ACDBE):
If your firm is federally-certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) or an Airport Concessionaire Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE), you are required to update your certification each year. OMWBE will email you a renewal notice prior to your anniversary date. There is a non-refundable fee of $20.

Federal Certification (SBE):
If your firm is federally-certified as a Small Business Enterprise (SBE), you are required to go through an annual update process every year. OMWBE will email you a renewal notice prior to your recertification date. There is no fee for a SBE annual update

Where can I find resources for small businesses?

You may want to read the Small Business Guide at the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Assistance website for information on how to start and operate a small business in Washington.

OMWBE state certification also makes it possible to participate in the Linked Deposit Program, where certified firms can work with linked deposit participating banks to see if they can receive better rates.

How long will it take me to get certified?

It takes about 45 – 90 days to process your certification application depending on the complexity, completeness, and type of your application. Here’s what you can expect:

  1. Within a week of receiving your online application, we will email you to let you know we have assigned your application to a certification analyst.
  2. An analyst will review your application and documents, and call you in about two weeks with questions and any needed additional information.
  3. After your analyst receives this additional information, it takes about 4 weeks to analyze your file.
  4. Depending on your certification type, we will contact you to schedule an on-site visit at your business.
  5. Your analyst will conduct the on-site visit and finish processing your application.
  6. Your application then goes through final review, which takes about 1 to 2 weeks.
  7. We will email you a letter once we have made a final decision on your certification.
Whom can I contact for help with my online application?

Please call OMWBE at (360) 664-9750 or Toll Free (866) 208-1064 and ask to speak with a Technical Assistant. You can also email or visit our office any time Monday through Friday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.

We are located at: 1110 Capitol Way South, Suite 150 Olympia, WA 98501

Click here for directions.

What is the advantage of being certified with OMWBE?

The Office of Minority and Women's Business Enterprises (OMWBE) strives to provide equity in contracting and procurement opportunities with local, state and federal governments.

If you are already established or just starting a business, OMWBE certification can:

  • Boost your potential for conducting business with government entities;
  • Significantly increase your visibility through listings on important databases for certified firms and active bids throughout the state; and
  • Provide private-sector companies another opportunity to meet their own supplier diversity goals.


Does the information I submit to OMWBE become public record?